by Ralph Costanzo, 386 pp, paper $14.95, ISBN 0-8059-3227-5, Pittsburgh, Pa, Dorrance Publishing Co Inc, 1991.
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In Beyond the Scalpel Dr Costanzo reports his first year of surgical residency in a daily journal format. The majority of the book deals with his experiences in the emergency department and operating room.
It is difficult to develop a feel for the personalities of his patients, since they are only briefly encountered. The material appears to be somewhat disjointed, and even Dr Costanzo's persona does not fully emerge for the reader. There are a considerable number of spelling errors, which can be quite confusing, eg, "carotid" for "parotid."
It would appear from his comments that the majority of the attending surgeons are extremely difficult and unpleasant personalities. He consistently refers to the women in his book as "chicks," despite their position or relationship to the story.
In summary, I feel that this book offers little to experienced medical personnel and would probably be somewhat confusing to the lay public.
Caleel RT. Beyond the Scalpel. JAMA. 1992;268(15):2109. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490150163048